If you’ve been on the Internet for any length of time, I’m sure some well-meaning friend has sent you or tagged you with a “forward.” That is, some message passed from person to person because it is either a dire warning (Ladies! Do not get into your car without checking your back seat first!) or something amusing (You are a child of the 50s/60s/70s/80s/90s if you recognize any of the following…).
Although I’ve seen plenty of forwards relating to motherhood generally, I’ve never seen any about pregnancy. So, in the interest of creating new and fresh forward material that you can use to annoy your entire contact list, I present:
HOW TO TELL THAT THIS IS YOUR SECOND PREGNANCY
You buy loose, strappy sandals as soon as you know you’re pregnant, because you just know that shoes will not be an option by the time you’re nine months gone.
You start every conversation with your partner with, “THIS time, we should…”
You toss out all three hundred of the pregnancy and child rearing guidebooks you bought for the first pregnancy. This is because your kid never read any of those books, and therefore does none of the things the experts said he would.
Every night you make sure there is a clear path to the bathroom because you know that morning sickness will hit you the minute you crack an eyelid to peer at your alarm clock.
You start laying in frozen and convenience meals as soon as you know you’re pregnant, because you know that cooking in the sleep-deprived first eight weeks postpartum is only likely to bring the fire department around again.
You wake up in the middle of the night, worrying about the impending labour and delivery. This time the question is not, “What will it be like?” but “Will it be as bad as last time?”
You wonder if you were really that big by eight weeks along in your first pregnancy.
Your stretch marks get stretch marks.
You announce the commencement of visits to the obstetrician for weekly internal checkups by saying “Let the indignities begin!”
This time around you recognize the “is she or isn’t she?” stares you get while out in public, and you buy a t-shirt that says, “Yes, this is a pregnancy, and not a random weight gain. You can safely ask me about it.”
Remembering how she hovered while were still being stitched up, you obtain a court order barring the lactation consultant from visiting you while you recover in hospital.
Other mothers realize that you already know what labour and delivery is like, so they don’t bother trying to scare you with their gynaecological horror stories. Instead they try to scare you by pointing at your first child and saying, “Whoa, are you ever going to have your hands full with two of them!”
The stretch marks on your stretch marks get stretch marks.
You worry that saying something like, “Mommy’s tummy is getting bigger because there’s a baby in there” to your first child will give him nightmares about being eaten up or something.
While suffering from backache, weight gain, morning sickness and exhaustion, you deal with the twenty-third toddler meltdown of the day and try to resist the urge to run screaming from the house.
You send your partner to a nightclub bouncer training school so he can forcefully prevent the janitor, the hospital consultant, the medical students, the cafeteria lady, the government inspector and the local shoes salesman from trooping through your birth recovery room. This is especially important if you want five whole minutes to just lie there and say “OW!” this time.
You hear your first child laugh and think to yourself, “Yes, it’s all worth it.”
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Copyright 2017 Chandra Clarke